With many of our patients planning to travel these school holidays we wanted to share some words of advice. While everyone’s dietary considerations are different there are some simple ways to approach eating while travelling with allergies so you can make the most of your holiday.
You don’t need to always avoid new experiences or local cuisines. Do some research before you go and understand the ingredients most likely used in the preparation of dishes.
When ordering at restaurants, communicate your allergy(cards and apps are helpful for this), and ensure that the wait staff and chef fully understand. Be patient as not everyone will know as much as about your allergy as you do, especially if you’re overseas.
Ask them to double-check ingredients and for cross contamination. Sometimes it is not just the ingredients, it could be that the deep fryer has had food containing nuts or nut crumbs cooked in the same oil for example.
Always take appropriate steps each time you order a meal, even if you have had it before in the same restaurant or cafe.
Always dab a little of any food on your lips first, and then your tongue to ensure it is safe before taking a more substantial mouthful.
Don’t rely on advice if researching Facebook groups and Trip Advisor forums.
Don’t assume that packaged products in other countries will have the same listed ingredients as they do in Australia. Itis always best to avoid processed, packaged foodand try local fresh produce instead.
Request an empty fridge in your hotel room, so you can fill it with your own selection of food.
If you are travelling to non-English speaking countries consider purchasing an app or travel card that can translate your allergy to staff in other languages. Some apps don’t even require an internet connection, so you won’t need to use worry about using data in a foreign country.
Being prepared is the key to taking the anxiety out of travelling with food allergy. Find out where the local pharmacies, hospital and medical centres are and how to contact them. Make sure you have international roaming on your phone so that you can make calls if you need to. Always take at least two EpiPens, keep them on your person and don’t leave them in direct sunlight. If you are an adult travelling solo wearing an allergy alert tag or bracelet or carrying a card is always a good idea.
At Allergy Medical our dietitians and doctors work in conjunction to properly diagnose patients with food-related symptoms. Contact us to find out how you could benefit from comprehensive diet and nutritional advice, gaining the knowledge to get well, and stay well. For EpiPen renewals book an appointment.
Check back soon for part three in our series on travelling with allergy.